It's cold, it's windy, and I hate it already.  How can anyone ever find this enjoyable?!  Stupid, thick-headed Nords.  Gulamoth is a Breton, fairly tall for his people.  With long, stringy hair and a balding pattern on top, snow white like his long goatee he kept tied in a knot, he appeard old, but not as old as he truly was.  It was the magicka use that kept him alive . . . of sorts.  Not wanting to be looked at too closely, Gulamoth chose to wear a basic robe over some light hide armor and a hood over his head so nobody could see his face very well.  He was from a secret organization within High Rock that called themselves the BattleMancers.  The brisk cold of the Dawnstar Port was nothing compared to what he was accustomed to back home, and he could only hope his endevours would be over quickly here in Skyrim.

Many in High Rock had called on the Order of BattleMancers at one point or another, whether they knew it fully or not.  Necromancy being what it is, most people find it unsetlling.  So they higher themselves out as Battle Mages, Escorts, or the like.  This, however, was not an external job.  There had been whispers and rumors of Deadric Artifacts being seen in Skyrim, and Gulamoth happened to be the premier Deadric knowledge in his small order.  This gave him the displeasure of making a trip to a land he loathed. 

Moving up the road to the local inn, he hoped to find some information that might be helpful.  The first two artifacts on his list were Azura's Star and the Skull of Corruption, the latter of which was skryed to be nearby Dawnstar.  As luck would have it, there were three women having a rather concerned-sounding conversation with some Dunmer monk about dreams or some nonesense.  Waiting for them to finish with him, Gulamoth approaches the Dunmer.

"I'm sorry, but I'm very busy trying to fix a rather large problem, Breton, I don't have time to talk to you."

"I overheard something about bad dreams, for the whole town . . . sounds interesting.  I'd be willing to help, if I could."

"Well, I suppose a little help wouldn't be a bad thing, I do need to get back to that tower.  The name's Erandur."

"Gulamoth, pleased.  What tower are we going back to, now?"

"I--er--well, I've said too much.  Perhaps we should just get moving, I'll have to ask that you trust me and leave it at that.."

"Very well, I suppose if I'm to help rid the town of evil, I am left without much choice.  Lead on, Erandur."

Gulamoth followed his new monk companion out of the inn, then he stopped and pointed up a hill behind town, "Gulamoth, that tower is where we need to go.  They call it Nightcaller Temple."  So off they head, up the rockface.  A rather short and uneventful walk ending with a door to a ruined tower, as they enter Erandur ensures Gulamoth is ready for whatever danger might be inside.

"I should warn you, Breton, there are things inside that even I'm not sure about.  I set up this shrine to Mara in the main entryway, but there are Orcs and priests to Vaermina that have been resting for quite some time due to a potent chemical called Miasma.  This airborne chem--"

"I am familliar with it, Erandur, thank you.  I fully expect to get the truth when we find the end of this task together.  I am not pleased with you hiding things and you clearly know more than you're letting on.  But we do not have time for this, let us get inside and get this over with."

"Very well, Gulamoth, very well."

The monk casts some spell at a stone carving on the wall at the back of the entryway and it begins to fade out, revealing a passage through.  Following the monk, Gulamoth unsheaths his axe and readies a flame spell.  They uneventfully make their way to a window that shows down the middle of the tower and there sits a staff - the Skull of Corruption.  He feigns listening as Erandur explains what it is and why it's causing the nightmares in Dawnstar and something about the Orcs that invaded and why they did.  Mentally, however, Gulamoth was speaking with his order via the a small tear in the Soul Cairn, utilizing altered Soul Gems.  After reporting in, he stopped the Dunmer from his rambling and urged him forward.

Finding some resistance from the invading Orcs that were awakening, they came to a barrier that could only be deactivated from the other side.  This meant they needed something called Vaermina's Torpor, according to Erandur.  So off to the ruined alchemy lab, where they find more Orcs along with sleeping priests awakening to their presence.  After clearing the room they search high and low and finally find the Torpor.  Gulamoth quickly downs the potion in order speed things along and is immediately given a vision or a dream of events long past.

The orcs appear to just be invading, the situation looks dire . . . where am I?  There's the Skull, I must be in the bottom of the tower.  More priests here, they must be relying on me to get the Miasma launched.  This feels very strange, living a portion of someone's life in a dream, so intrigueing!  This priest runs fast, though, and just ignored all the fighting.  Not sure if he's brave or stupid, not that the difference is very much.  Finally, I'm at the barrier!  Time to pull the chain get it over with.

At the release of the Miasma while under the effects of the Torpor Gulamoth appears behind the barrier staring at the chain and an activated Soul Gem.  Thinking a moment, he decides to take the gem from it's housing; almost immediately the barrier releases and the Miasma dissipates.  Erandur is amazed at the Torpor, but there's no time to dwell on such things . . . there's a Skull of Corruption to be had. 

Making their way down the tower halls, Gulamoth and Erandur run into several more awakening foes, but make quick work of each of them.  Entering the tower's main chamber they are confronted with two very familiar faces.  The two priests from the Torpor vision are waiting for them at the bottom of the ramp leading to the Skull.  A quick exchange between the two priests and Erandur reveals that he was, in fact, the priest whose life Gulamoth relived in releasing the Miasma.  Enraged he stands back and watches as the three of them fight, and with little effort Erandur is victorious.  As he watches Erandur walk up the ramp to destroy the nightmare-inducing, memory-stealing staff Gulamoth hears the voice of Vaermina from deep within his own mind.

"This man has lied to you much, and is lying still.  He will destroy my artifact then kill you in turn, for you know too much.  I know of your quest here in Skyrim, BattleMancer.  I can help you, but only if you help me.  Stop him, KILL HIM!  Retrieve my staff and it will be yours."

Gulamoth lowers his hood and calls out to Erandur to stop.  Slowly the Dark Elf turns to see the face of the Breton for the first time.  Eyes black as the Void, lips dark from death spoken upon them, a conjured wolf familliar standing at his side and a fireball resting in his hand . . . it all happens too quickly, Erandur is fallen, broken. 

Retrieving the Skull of Corruption, Gulamoth reports in via his Communication Gem that the first Artifact is in his posession.  Azura's Star is next on the list, and it shouldn't be hard to locate . . . the silly Daedra is always too kind to the mortal races.

If you enjoyed this, you can find links to each of my blog series on this forum thread.